Costs of atrial fibrillation in five European countries: results from the Euro Heart Survey on atrial fibrillation
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AIMS: To estimate costs of admission and costs incurred on an annual basis by patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) in Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the Netherlands. METHODS AND RESULTS: The Euro Heart Survey on AF enrolled 5333 patients with AF in 35 European countries in 2003 and 2004. This was a bottom-up cost study conducted for the five largest contributors in terms of patients enrolled. Quantities of resource use during the enrolment admission and during 1-year follow-up were inferred from survey data and multiplied by national unit costs in order to estimate per patient costs associated with AF for each country. Mean costs of inpatient admission of an AF patient were estimated at euro1363, euro5252, euro2322, euro6360, and euro6445 and mean costs incurred on an annual basis at euro1507, euro3225, euro1010, euro2315, and euro2328 in Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the Netherlands, respectively. Inpatient care and interventional procedures were identified as the main drivers of costs, accounting for more than 70% of total annual costs in all five countries. CONCLUSION: Estimates of the economic burden posed by AF are critical in light of the increasing importance of AF as a public health problem.
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